A Sparkling Wine from New Mexico!

February 7, 2009

Reviews

I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into when I purchased the Gruet Blanc de Noirs non vintage sparkling wine from Total Wine.  After reading the recent Wine Spectator article (see my earlier post) on wine values around the world, I was excited to learn our local Total Wine carried several of the Gruet sparkling wines.  The price was $14.99, so I figured what do I have to lose.  Gruet Winery is located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with vineyard elevations of 4300 feet, making them some of the highest in the United States.  The growing New Mexico wine industry consists of 26 wineries today, producing almost 350,000 gallons of wine a year.  The Gruet sparkling wines are available all over the US and online, so you should be able to locate easily.

The Blanc de Noirs is a French term meaning “white wine from red grapes,” and is predominantly made up of Pinot Noir.  The Gruet Blanc de Noirs is made up of 75% Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay.

We decided to pair this wine with a Cranberry Almond Goat Cheese from Whole Foods.  I’m a firm believer you can drink a sparkling wine with any food, and this paired beautifully with the cheese.  On the nose, I picked up almonds and toast.  The wine was surprisingly complex, with a creamy texture on the palate with nice acidity.  The finish left me wanting more.  I’m a big fan of champagnes/sparkling wines and stick with the bigger labels (e.g. Veuve Clicquout and Perrier Jouët).  I typically score these non vintage labels anywhere between 87 and 89 points.  After trying the Gruet, I’ll no longer waste my time or money with the others.  At $14.99, not only is this a value play, but once again, another great wine from the other 46 states.

Winemaker’s Note

The rich and toasty character of our Blanc de Noirs is balanced and superb. Aged for two-year minimum, the palate is developed and shows rich complex flavors. The amazing berries aromas and the creamy texture play a leading role and create a great finesse. A fine salmon color, aggressive mousse and a lovely fruity wine with plenty of immediate charm and toasty aromas. There is also an explosive juicy flavor of raspberry.

I was about to hit the “publish” button in WordPress when I received a Google alert about Michigan wines.  Wannabe Wino just published a blog on a sparkling wine from Michigan.  I highly recommend you check it out!

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About Brian Kirby

A locavore who is passionate about local wine and the growing wine industry in the other 46 states.

View all posts by Brian Kirby

5 Responses to “A Sparkling Wine from New Mexico!”

  1. Avenue de Champagne Says:

    Perrier Jouet have many types of good Champagne, for each type of tastes. Did you tryed them all? :)

  2. dorothy Says:

    we met your sister at boutier tasting room in acworth, ga over the weekend. she told us about your website. tonite we opened a Luna Rossa temperanillo from Deming, NM…have you been there? words can’t describe…warm, smooth…

  3. admin Says:

    Thanks for the comments! Unfortunately, I have not tried the Luna Rossa, but will definitely seek out. Just curious, where did you purchase?

  4. Jennifer Breaux Says:

    As always I l enjoy reading about your adventures and reviews of “The Other 46″ and wanted to comment as I was recently in NM for a wedding and stopped in for a tasting at Gruet. I was delighted with the wines and paid under $14 for the bottle of Blanc de Noirs – so I bought a case and had it shipped home. I am not typically a fan of taking the glass with me after a tasting but in this case I did because it was Reidel stemware. They were harvesting and in crush when I arrived so that was a treat to see.

    We also enjoyed a tasting at Casa Rodena – another family owned winery in Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, NM. Try the 2006 Animante (Port) with their chocolate sauce if you ever get a chance….or next time you’re in LoCo wine country, stop by and I’ll share mine. A case from Casa Rodena was purchased and shipped home as well.

    Cheers to NM and The Other 46! Thanks for your advocacy!

    Jen Breaux

  5. Brian Says:

    Hi Jennifer,
    Thank you for your readership and the kind words. I’ve been very impressed with the quality of wines being produced in New Mexico and especially by Gruet. I was excited to learn that their sparkling wine Blanc de Noirs had been selected to be served in the new Starbuck’s concept. I have not had the opportunity to taste any offerings from Casa Rodena, but will put them on the list. I’ll definitely take you up on your offer next time I’m up your way (which is right around the corner:)
    Cheers!
    Brian

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